Minimum smallpox vaccination is best strategy for now, experts say

The current smallpox vaccination policy of vaccinating a very limited number of first responders to a potential smallpox outbreak and avoiding mass vaccination is the best vaccination strategy, say two smallpox experts in an article in Annals of Internal Medicine. The article is released today online at and will be published in the March 18, 2003, hard copy edition of the journal. In the absence of a known threat of smallpox exposure, mass vaccination of the entire population or selective or voluntary vaccination would be dangerous to many who might get the vaccine, their contacts and the public health initiative, say J. Michael Lane, MD, MPH and Joel Goldstein, MD, in the article.

Eczema all about infection

Researchers say they’ve found that people with atopic dermatitis, a.k.a. eczema, are susceptible to bacterial infections in their skin because their bodies don’t produce enough of two antimicrobial peptides. The findings show that while an allergic reaction can cause a rash, true eczema is all about infection. And medicines containing or inducing the peptides could be used to fight the disorder, which affects millions worldwide.